Russian president hails national soccer squad's morale

08:34, December 25, 2009      

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Despite failure to qualify for the 2010 World Cup, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said here Thursday that the morale of the country's national soccer team should continue to be boosted.

Down 0-1 by Slovenia in a second-leg playoff in the European zone on Nov. 19, Russia lost its opportunities to qualify for the South Africa World Cup.

"Whatever some may say after the deplorable setback suffered lately, with the advent of Guus Hiddink as the new chief coach the team started playing differently," the president commented on the loss in a live TV interview.

There were some exciting, inspiring victories in the recent years, said Medvedev, such as the defeat of England in Moscow and a triumph over the Dutch team during the Eurocup.

"In the world of soccer we have grown to the status of Europe's semi-greats," said the president as quoted by the Itar-Tass news agency.

"As far as club-level soccer is concerned, it looks not very bad at all," he added.

Source: Xinhua
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